The 2014 production of
THE WOMAN IN THE MOON
at the Rose Playhouse, Bankside
THE FIRST PROFESSIONAL RUN IN FOUR CENTURIES
OF JOHN LYLY'S ASTROLOGICAL SEX COMEDY
Mixing astrology, myth, magic and farce, Lyly sets his play in Utopia, and then boldly rewrites Genesis – here the supreme creator is female, Nature herself. When four shepherds beg for a mate she breathes life into Pandora, the first woman. Jealous of her excellence, the Seven Planets take turns to revenge themselves on her as she is pursued by the four love-struck men, causing chaos.
This extraordinary dream play by England's first great playwright was performed before Queen Elizabeth I sometime in 1589-95. With its bewildered lovers suffering dizzying emotional transformations at the hands of unseen supernatural forces in a night-time woodland chase, it clearly inspired Shakespeare’s own Midsummer Night’s Dream.
They said . . .
"Hilarious, sexy and perhaps most surprisingly, cool"
"One of the most consistently funny casts I've seen"
"Bella Heesom is scarily good"
"Keira Duffy's powerfully erotic Venus"
"The whole damn human condition as a sexed-up, sweaty knot of misunderstandings propelled by hormones, libidos and jealousy, all gazed upon by a mischievous universe"
London City Nights
"Here's a word about The Woman in the Moon at the Rose. And the word is: goandseeitifyoucan"
Michael Caines, Times Literary Supplement
"Bella Heesom gave an extraordinary performance of an extraordinary role"
"James Askill is one of the most consistently hysterical early modern actors I have ever seen"
"James Thorne is stupendous"
"Made their case for Lyly's potency in the contemporary theatre"
Peter Kirwan, Bardathon
"Impressively funny, intimate and refreshing"
"Puts Lyly centre stage, and deservedly so"
A Younger Theatre
"Inspired... ingenious... an unexpected joy"
"A fabulous production of an amazing play"
"Lyly’s poetic scheme anticipates our deeper Darwinian understanding"
"Magical and mysterious"
"A triumphant display... mesmerising"
The Rose Playhouse, Bankside
Sept - Oct 2014
Bella Heesom - Pandora, the Woman
Julia Sandiford - Nature
James Thorne - Gunophilus
Joel Davey - Stesias
Rhys Bevan - Learchus
Robert Heard - Melos
James Askill - Iphicles
Llywelyn ab Eleri - Saturn
Gareth Radcliffe - Jupiter
Adam Cunis - Mars
Timothy George - Sol
Laurel Devenie / Keira Duffy - Venus
Théo Kingshott - Mercury
Lila Whelan - Luna / Concord
Cindy-Jane Armbruster - Juno / Discord
Directed and Designed by
David Meunier-Palmer at Fringehire
Stage Manager and Assistant Producer